A Very Spring Zucchini Pasta

To be honest, I have been waiting so intently for the zucchini blossoms to appear at my local market to try some interesting recipes, which I recently spotted in some Italian culinary magazines, that I forgot about the zucchinis themselves. So, maybe, before I buy these blossoms or, if and until, they finally bloom in my garden, I would like to share a zucchini pasta recipe. This is one of not too many vegetable pastas that my picky kids enjoy a lot, so I cook it fairly often.

Usually, I have been making it with large green or yellow zucchinis and dried basil leaves, a combination which in this vegetarian recipe works perfectly. I grate the zucchinis on a large hole grater and make a creamy sauce with them, flavored with dried basil. But, the other day, I got a bag of beautiful, small and green baby zucchinis and decided to use them instead.

This time I only sliced the zucchinis as they were tiny. And, instead of the dried basil, I used the more seasonal fresh basil, which is already growing in the pots on my deck. I also cooked the whole wheat pasta that becomes increasingly popular and easy to buy. It has a little bit stronger taste so it goes nicely with a delicate taste of the zucchini sauce and provides fiber, proteins, and even a good amount of Omega 3 fatty acids.

Zucchini Pasta
(Serves four)

1 box (about a pound) of Barilla multi grain penne or De Cecco whole wheat penne,
2 tbsp olive oil,
1 pound of baby zucchini or regular zucchini,
1 medium onion, chopped,
2 garlic cloves, minced,
1 cup table cream,
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves or 1 tbsp dried,
shredded Parmesan,
salt and pepper to taste.

1. Cook pasta according to the instruction. With whole wheat pasts, this will take a little bit longer than regular, about 11-13 minutes,
2. Preheat oil in large heavy duty frying pan and fry onion until transparent.
3. Cut baby zucchinis into thin slices or if yuo have the normale size zucchinis, grate them on a large hole grater. Add them to the pan with the onion. Mix and cook all the vegetables together on a medium heat until all the water from the zucchinis evaporates and they start to turn gold. Add minced garlic and fry everything together for about 2 minutes.

4. Finally, pour in the cream, mix and bring the sauce to boil. If it becomes too thick, add an extra hot water from the pot with boiling pasta.
5. Season the sauce with salt and generously with freshly griound pepper, add chopped basil and mix everything well together.
6. Drain pasta, pour the zucchini sauce over. Finish with shredded Parmesan and serve with red wine.

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